Friday, April 24, 2015

Celebrating the Active Pass Festival

The Active Pass Festival celebrated the beauty and inspiration of my island home. 

Opening ceremonies...
 Michael Dunn, master of ceremonies and head organizer

 an excited and supportive crowd

Mayne Island community choir

There was truly something for everyone...

-sailing tours

-walking tours

-studio tours

-craft shows

-art exhibits

-music concerts

-author readings

and more

Many times during this three-day festival I wished that I could split myself in half and in half and in half again. I figured that way I wouldn't have to miss anything.

The highlight for me were the author readings. These readings were offered on Saturday and Sunday. 

Saturday, I was entertained by two powerful female authors who were driven to tell their truth. 

The first, Adrienne Brown (memoirist), fell era to her artist parents' story. Ms. Brown took on this challenge even though she was not an artist herself. She read from The Life and Art of Harry and Jessie Webb

The second, Cathy Ford (poet), felt compelled to make the world remember the women who were killed during the Ecole Ploytechnique massacre. Ms. Ford took on this challenge even though, at the time of the shooting, she lived several provinces away. She read from her long poem Flowers We Will Never Know the Names Of.

Sunday, the day began with...

9 AM author reading by Pam Withers. Pam offered writing tips and talked about her author journey and the research she did in order to write her latest book -- Andreo's Race. This research included a trip to Bolivia.

10 AM author Amber Harvey. Amber spoke about the inspiration for her writing -- to entertain and leave a legacy for her grandchildren. She read from her soon-to-be published book, Magda's Mysterious Stranger

11 AM author Leanne Dyck 
I invited singer, songwriter and actor Georgia Johnson to perform with me.

Georgia performing on the main stage on the Ag Hall grounds

My recipe:  3 short stories
2 songs
musical accompaniment
audience involvement
Blend together and offer to a room full of supportive friends.
Result:  an amazing author high

Noon with Governor-General award winning children's writer, Kit Pearson. Ms. Pearson read from her newly released books The Whole Truth and And Nothing But the Truth. She told us that the books had started out as one but her publisher suggested that they become two. Ms. Pearson is a prolific, well-established (over 30 years) author. I'm looking forward to talking with her on May 17th...

(Please click on the image to embolden)

By this time, my brain was exploding with information and inspiration. So I took a small break. I returned to the library for...

Governor-General award winning poet and fiction author, Arleen Pare. Ms. Pare read from her newly released poetry collection Lake of Two Mountains. I enjoyed listening to Ms. Pare's poetry, but I am a huge fan of her fiction. Here is my review of Ms. Pare's last novel -- Leaving Now.


Mayne Island web site 

Mayne Island news blog

Writing contest...

Room's Poetry and Fiction Contest is Now open
Deadline:  July 15, 2015
contest guidelines

Sharing my author journey...

The day before my author reading I spent too much time worrying. I planned to weave in music and audience participation. I knew no other author would do that. 
Why? I wondered and then I knew:  because it's not the right way. 
Maybe I should cancel my plans, I told myself.
Hmm, no, I told myself (I engage in such interesting discussions.) Who cares what everyone else does? This is me.
Worry eased.
I slept peacefully; then woke with a start. I should be worrying, I thought.
Thanks to my husband, I arrived at the library in time to attend my friends' author readings. 
Nerve was replaced by excitement when Georgia arrived. She began to play her guitar as we waited to be introduced. This set the tone for the entire reading--laid-back, fun.
Neil Howard gave a short but fun introduction.
Georgia and I read the first story--Feeling Groovy. I took the role of the narrator and she skillfully supplied all of the other voices.
Then it came time for me to issue the first invitation for audience participation. I beat back my how apprehension by saying, "After listening to that story, I know you're all dieing to sing Feeling Groovy." I handed out the song sheets and, to my delight, we filled the room with music.
It just kept getting better and better after that. You can't beat a Mayne Island audience.
It was all over way too soon. And I look forward to doing my next reading -- sometime, in the not too distant future; maybe under the sun on the outdoor stage at Miner's Bay Park.